DECORATOR IN­DEX RACHEL CHUD­LEY

The up-and-com­ing Lon­don de­signer re­veals the in­flu­ences and pas­sions be­hind her colour­ful, in­ven­tive style

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorat Ing -

Who is she? Rachel Chud­ley set up her Lon­don Fields stu­dio in 2015 and is a rising star of the Bri­tish in­te­rior de­sign scene. Her USP is a dual ex­per­tise in dec­o­rat­ing and art­works: she has a BA in His­tory of Art from the Cour­tauld In­sti­tute of Art, and also stud­ied at the In­te­rior De­sign­ers In­sti­tute in Cal­i­for­nia. Her stu­dio team is made up of artists, prod­uct en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers. She also works reg­u­larly with renowned Amer­i­can colour con­sul­tant and pal­ette ex­pert to the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art, Don­ald Kauf­man, as well as the iconic Amer­i­can ar­chi­tect Philip John­son. What’s her style? ‘Painterly, per­sonal, whim­si­cal and eclectic,’ she says. ‘I’m in­spired by the houses de­signed by the Fu­tur­ists, the March­esa Casati’s fa­bled gold rooms and faded Bri­tish glam­our.’ Chud­ley’s pre­vi­ous projects epit­o­mise her aes­thetic of colour­ful, arty spa­ces up­dated with a mod­ern twist – the bright vicarage in east Lon­don ( 1) full of geo­met­ric shapes, the Is­ling­ton town­house, com­plete with Andy Warhol prints ( 2) and the deca­dent ware­house con­ver­sion in east Lon­don ( 3) adorned with plants.

The ori­gins of Chud­ley’s pas­sion for dec­o­rat­ing are suit­ably ro­man­tic. ‘I be­came fas­ci­nated by in­te­ri­ors as a child, when I fell in love with a green wall­pa­per dec­o­rated with pineap­ples that my grand­mother had in her hall­way,’ she ex­plains. ‘ When she told me that pineap­ples were tra­di­tion­ally a sym­bol of wel­come, it sparked an ob­ses­sion.’ Chud­ley lives with her hus­band in a con­verted sta­ble in east Lon­don, which is ‘a can­vas for some of my wack­ier ideas’. What is she cur­rently work­ing on? A fam­ily home in Hamp­stead, Lon­don, that is be­ing de­signed around an art col­lec­tion and an Ed­in­burgh town­house where the chal­lenge is ‘cre­at­ing light, warm spa­ces that look out onto rather grey skies’. One of Chud­ley’s favoured tech­niques is to study the na­ture and day­light out­side a build­ing, us­ing these to in­form the colours in­side. She says ‘ The chal­lenges of work­ing with un­usual spa­ces push me to be more in­ven­tive. I like work­ing with peo­ple who want to get be­hind fun ideas; luck­ily, I find these peo­ple own all sorts of prop­er­ties.’ rachelchud­ley.com

‘I’d de­scribe my style as painterly, per­sonal, whim­si­cal and eclectic – I’m in­spired by the houses de­signed by the Fu­tur­ists, the March­esa Casati’s fa­bled gold rooms and faded Bri­tish glam­our’

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